Volvo Buses host Bus Rapid Transit Conference in Malaysia, together with Technology Depository Agency (TDA) and Prasarana

Volvo Buses was proud to host the very first Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Conference in Putrajaya, Malaysia on November 19th 2019, together with Technology Depository Agency (TDA) and Prasarana. Supported by the Malaysian Government, The Swedish Embassy and Business Sweden - the intention was to bring together key stakeholders from across Malaysia to build a shared vision and join hands for action that will continue to make Bus Rapid Transit a reality in Malaysia.

Volvo Buses BRT Conference Malaysia
Volvo Buses BRT Conference Malaysia

The organisation of the conference is part of Volvo Buses commitment to Malaysia’s Industrial Collaboration Programme (ICP), which ensures that every Ringgit Malaysia spends on Government procurement, the country is getting back more value in the form of technology transfer, human capital development and local companies’ enhancement in the global supply chain.

The ICP was triggered by Procurement of 90 Volvo Double Deck Buses for Rapid Bus, which exceeds the threshold stipulated in Policy and Guidelines on Industrial Collaboration Programme (ICP) in Government Procurement (Second Edition). The Technology Depository Agency (TDA), an agency under the Ministry of Finance Malaysia, is responsible for managing, administering and monitoring all ICP activities implementation in Malaysia.

Attended by over 270 delegates, and various media outlets, in attendance were also guests of honour, YB Tuan Loke Siew Fook, Transport Minister of the Government of Malaysia and Swedish Ambassador to Malaysia, H.E. Dag Juhlin-Dannfelt, Embassy of Sweden - who both opened the conference with speeches addressing the future of public transport in Malaysia.

Volvo Buses BRT Conference Malaysia

The conference drew on the experience of BRT specialists, blending global insights with local experience. The aim was to identify and address key considerations in regards to BRT implementation including; planning, tendering, designing, constructing, operating and maintenance.

The agenda incorporated impressive keynote speeches from the following international and local speakers:

  • Xiaomei Duan, Chief Engineer, Guangzhou Municipal Engineering Design and Research Institute, China
  • Yoga Adiwinarto, Director of Engineering and Facility at PT. Transportasi Jakarta (Transjakarta), Indonesia
  • Sue Chan, Head of UITP Asia Pacific, Hong Kong
  • Frits Olyslagers, Public Transport / Institutional Specialist, Australia
  • Muhammad Yazurin Sallij Muhammad Yasin, CEO Rapid Bus, Malaysia
  • Stefan Widlund, City Mobility Director, Volvo Bus Corporation, Sweden

Key topics which were presented to delegates were;

  • An international overview of the BRT concept and its suitability to prospering cities
  • Existing business models using examples from across the globe
  • Information on choosing the right technology, design, construction and operation
  • The value of public transport and implementation of land value capture
  • Malaysia’s latest developments in regards to BRT systems
Volvo Buses BRT Conference Malaysia

The programme also included a panel discussion on ‘The Future of Bus Rapid Transit in Malaysia’. Moderated by Sridhar Chari, a former public transport journalist from India, who now works in public relations for Volvo Buses, the panel discussion aimed to share, discuss and debate views, experiences, and ideas on future BRT systems in Malaysia. The panel also discussed various technology choices - with clean Euro 6 diesel, hybrid technologies and an electric bus future all featuring in the discussions. Panellists in the discussion included:

  • Muhammad Yazurin Sallij Muhammad Yasin, CEO Rapid Bus, Malaysia
  • Xiaomei Duan, (Title), Far East BRT Planning Co. Limited, China
  • Ahmad Radhi, Deputy Director General (Development) of APAD, Malaysia
  • Jan Vandooren, Director Urban Mobility, Volvo Bus Corporation, Belgium
  • Frits Olyslagers, Public Transport / Institutional Specialist, Australia
Volvo Buses BRT Conference Malaysia

“Volvo Buses are extremely proud to be one of the organising partners behind this event. Volvo has immense experience with BRT and in fact, were the first to invent and deliver the high-capacity BRT system in Curitiba, Brazil in 1975. Since then, we have been actively involved in expanding BRT to all continents and encouraging discussions such as these to further promote the solution. For growing cities, we have seen excellent benefits from BRT systems such as, the reduction of travel time by 50% and reductions to air quality and safety due to fewer cars on the road. At Volvo buses, we truly believe BRT to be the most flexible, scalable and cost-efficient transport infrastructure and we look forward to seeing many BRT developments in Malaysia’s future” says Volvo Buses Senior Vice President, Akash Passey.

The CEO of TDA, Dato’ Zailani Safari delivered the closing remarks that summarised the conference and highlighted the importance of ICP as an economic tool to develop and strengthen Malaysia’s economy through procuring technology and knowledge that is both foreign and not available locally.

The amount of information provided at the conference was thought provoking and challenged many of the long established paradigms. The event was well appreciated by all attendees with a clear view that the journey towards BRT is well on its way, but requires stakeholders from across the transport industry to join hands to achieve long term success. 


19 November 2019

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